RSM Bentley Jennison has launched a new corporate restructuring
and insolvency arm in preparation for a downturn in the UK economy.
The firm describes the new division as a one-stop shop for all
areas of financial and accounting advice. The corporate
restructuring and insolvency unit will work closely with the firm’s
corporate advisory division.

RSM Bentley Jennison has recruited a team from independent
recovery and restructuring firm Begbies Traynor. Operating
nationally from London, the division will be led by Phil Smith and
Simon Thomas. The firm said Smith has worked for several blue-chip
financial institutions, including Barclays Bank and Lloyds TSB,
where he developed extensive experience advising companies during
periods of economic downturn.

Thomas has undertaken complex business restructuring and turnaround
projects covering a wide spectrum of sectors, including chemical,
heavy engineering, manufacturing and retail. He is a licensed
insolvency practitioner with cross-border insolvency experience.
The pair were joint heads of recovery for the Tenon national
insolvency practice.

Another senior figure within the team is RSM Bentley Jennison
partner Fred Satow. He told IAB the current economic
climate and client demand motivated the firm to launch the recovery
and insolvency team.

“Aside from the subprime mortgage crisis you have got personal
insolvency at an all time high in the UK, tax take going up, bank
lending declining and the stock market decline – so it’s quite a
good time to be launching the corporate restructuring business in
the UK,” he said. “I think it will grow very quickly in the current
economy, we are already quite busy and this is week three. There
are plans to expand both in London and nationally.”

Satow, who has previously worked as a partner at PKF and Baker
Tilly, said the firm had previously outsourced insolvency and
restructuring leads. The formation of the new unit, he added, would
bring some of this work in-house, as well as help the firm look
after clients better and generate restructuring and insolvency
business on its own account. Typical clients of the new unit are
mid-corporate businesses that turn over up to £50 million ($100
million).

Arvind Hickman